Zachary Whittenburg isn't just one of the most informative voices in dance writing, he also knows the annual New Dances project as well as anyone, so we just had to ask him what we'll see at NEW Dances 2019. Here's what he told us:
On Friday, June 29th, and again on Sunday, July 1, Thodos Dance Chicago and DanceWorks Chicago will present the very latest incarnation of a legendary dance event, NEW Dances. Audiences at Chicago's Ruth Page Center for the Arts will see a brand new dance company, specially formed for this performance, in works by six choreographers, specially made for NEW Dances. This year marks a new beginning, adding a present and a future to the story of New Dances. Two of the most influential, and most creatively community-aware professionals in Chicago dance -- Melissa Thodos and Julie Nakagawa -- decided last year to transition the New Dances event to a joint effort by DanceWorks Chicago and Thodos Dance Chicago. The performances feature new works by choreographers Shannon Alvis, Braeden Barnes, Katlin Michael Bourgeois, J’Sun Howard, Chris Johnson, and Anna Long. We asked both Melissa and Julie to let us in on a little more of this story, and here's what they told us:
Manuel Vignoulle's ability to create intensely engaging choreography is something that a lot of people in the dance world have known about for a while now. Not surprisingly though, his choreography gets even more attention now, because last November, his work Black and White was awarded the 2017 Choreography Festival Grand Prize Award at the McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival.